Rough-hewn folkies Woods will be at Casbah Thursday night. The Brooklyn band behind the reedy falsetto and shambolic ’60s psych-guitar of frontman Jeremy Earl has grown by one, a full-time drummer, tightening the seams on this often jammy but always charming ragdoll of a rock combo. The consistent output (seven records in seven years) and continuous touring doesn’t hurt, either. Get yer mitts on last year’s top-ten set, Bend Beyond, and then order your tix, because with SanFran garage-pop band the Fresh & Onlys and fellow freak-folkie Jessica Pratt opening the show, this one’s sure to sell out. As of this typing, tickets are (unbelievably) still available.... Miss the door in Middletown, San Diego dance-rock band the Nervous Wreckords (Brian Karscig of Louis XIV) hit the Griffin after Saint Diego graces the stage.... L.A. dance-punk pioneers Moving Units roll into Soda Bar behind the brand-spanking new Neurotic Exotic, “an Italian disco new wave funk-a-thon.” Some Embers warm up the room.... Local pop chanteuse Joanie Mendenhall celebrates an EP/CD release at Tin Can Ale House for her new one, The Vanishing Point, seven songs recorded live with a band of local notables (joaniemendenhall.com), one of whom was Al Howard of opening act Midnight Pine. Dustin Illingworth’s (Kite Flying Society) Tide Pools also on the bill.... And barroom rockers Buddy Banter, Idyll Wild, and Dirty Sirens go off downtown for the every-third-Thursday Dark Side at El Dorado.
Canada band Islands wash up at Casbah behind this year’s critical curiosity Ski Mask, a collection that finds Nick “Nicky Diamonds” Thorburn a little pissed after a couple of lackluster (or more diplomatically described) “introspective sets.” Been a fan of the man since his odd-pop days with the joyous Unicorns, and still spin Islands’ 2006 debut Return to the Sea pretty regularly. Ski Mask doesn’t harbor that attraction, but I just got it, and Thorburn’s songwriting uses invisible ink, wherein new shit appears with each spin (“I did a line from a script that I wrote/ I felt the words in the back of my throat”). With Vancouver indietronica band Bear Mountain and our own always-entertaining tropical-pop outfit Red Pony Clock, these’d be the sets to see Friday night.... Best of the rest: L.A. industrial duo Youth Code fill the Void with the synth + screamo noise off of their s/t Angry Love Productions (Psychic TV) debut, a set that pulses with the hardcore punk and raw beats of Throbbing Gristle. Pitchfork notes, “It’s hard to say whether they want to keep you dancing or claw you in the face.” Nice. Night Sins, Innerds, and Sunwheel set it up...SanDago punk-n-roll trio the Lumps play a CD release at Tower Bar for their new joint, Pot, which is the first release on Tower Bar Records. Go and get it on green vinyl! And Doods Foods has your munchies covered...my new favorite local blues-rawk duo Chess Wars (Dustin Lothspeich on guitar and mic, Jake Najor on drums) will be out at the Riviera Room in La Mesa. Saw them open for Grand Tarantula at the Griffin a couple weeks back on one of Radio Halloran’s killer bills and still have their song-sense and swing stuck in my craw. He sings a little bit like Hendrix. Check ’em out: chesswars.bandcamp.com/...and last/least, up at Belly Up, Tim Bluhm’s SanFran folk-rock jam band Mother Hips drop their new bowla granola, Beyond Behind.
Hey, look, it’s a music festival. Yes, it’s time for another installment of the Adams Avenue Street Fair. More bands and beer than you can shake a stick covered in meat at. Click this for that, wouldja.... ’Round town Saturday night, ya got Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Casbah. UMO is a Portland (Oregon)-via-Auckland (New Zealand) psychedelic pop trio that has solid cred in the indie-crit community from what I’m reading. I haven’t heard them yet, so hang on whilst I hit the interwebs. Hm. Little lite in the Crocs for my taste. Fat Possum’s “apocalypse pop” player Jackson Scott opens the show...she-shredders Lady Zep and Black Sabbitch stack ’em at Brick by Brick...local indie-rock trio Takahashi (ex-aMiniature) sets up Soda Bar after Mittens and Filthy Violets...and it’s gonna be a “hostile snakeover” of hip-hop ’n’ soul, as Chicagoan band Ssssnake slithers into Tower Bar after local slack-punks Tora! Tora! Tora! and the Bandits.
L.A.-based cabaret act Vaud and the Villains take the stage at Belly Up Sunday night. The Nawlins noir–themed show includes a 19-piece singin’ and dancin’ band and story-telling frontman, actor/founder/saxophonist Andy Comeau. If the schtick doesn’t tickle you, the delicious dance duo of Honeychild and Peaches Mahoney surely will.... Else: Welsh heavy-metal band Bullet for My Valentine, touring in support of this year’s Temper Temper, will be at Soma with Black Veil Brides...English electronica artist Lapalux plugs in at the Void after our own Illuminauts...and, tinnitus unite us, punk-metal band Sirhan Sirhan resurfaces at Casbah after Batwings and Archons to fill a loud-locals bill at the Middletown mainstay.
Honus Honus’s Man Man takes the stage stage at Casbah Monday night. The piano-pounding Philly act has a new t’do in this year’s On Oni Pond, a comparatively grounded (or as the wrock writers have it, “hook-focused,” “accessible,” even) affair for the wildly experimental band. Whatever. These guys own the room when they’re onstage; if you’ve never been...here, have some Kool-Aid. Spanish siren Xenia Rubinos sets it up with Magic Trix.... Uptown: Woodsist progeny the Babies (Woods, Vivian Girls) crawl into the Void after Woodsist progeny Alex Bleeker & the Freaks (Real Estate)...while dorm-pop quartet Vampire Weekend land at the Open Air Theatre at SDSU. The easy-to-tease Ezra Koenig and crew are out to tout this year’s NPR-approved (read: remainder-bin filler) Modern Vampires of the City.
Busy week at Casbah, as L.A. garage-rock quartet the Allah-Las join Jacco Gardner and the Barbarians on Kettner for a hot-shit triple bill.... Otherwise, if you’re looking for your RDA of nu-jazz jams, it’s Mattson 2uesday at El Dorado downtown...and chillwaver Toro Y Moi, touring in support of this year’s critical hit Anything in Return, sets up at Belly Up in Solana Beach.
Outta room as usual come Wednesday, so real quik, humpnight hits like this: up-and-coming ’60s-style punk ’n’ roll trio Flaggs (ex–New Kinetics) wave at Tower Bar...New Orleans–based country-folk Hurray for the Riff-Raff ramble into Soda Bar...borderland garage-punk band San Pedro El Cortez checks in at the Griffin with PL DVNA and Amerikan Bear...old-timey troubadour Pokey Lafarge plays Casbah...Brit indie hit Jake Bugg’s at House of Blues...and for you higher brows, Icelandic neo-classical composer Ólafur Arnaldse visits the Loft at UCSD. (Guess what, Mr. Smártypánts used to play drums in a hardcore band called Fighting Shit. Lookitupyoudontbelieveme.)
— Barnaby Monk